The rise of Lando Norris: How he has changed in 100 races

The 2023 US GP will mark Lando Norris' 100th F1 start

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Lando Norris’ has come a long way as a Grand Prix driver and on the eve of his 100th Formula 1 start, McLaren CEO Zak Brown has heaped praise on the Brit while also outlining how he’s changed over the years.

Norris, who has been with McLaren since making his F1 debut in 2019, will take to the F1 grid for the 100th time in Sunday’s 2023 United States Grand Prix, starting second at the Circuit of the Americas.

“He obviously is much more experienced, five seasons in,” Brown said of Norris when asked by the press how he has changed as a driver. “We look at what he was like as a rookie versus now, he makes very few mistakes.

“Not that he made a lot of mistakes as a rookie, but more rarely misses a sector when he needs to put it together, and I would say his race craft is extremely strong.

“He’s one of the fastest drivers in F1. We’re giving him a car that’s able to get on the podium now on a more regular basis, and we still need to keep developing because this sport never sits still.”

No rush for a maiden F1 win

Despite a sluggish start to the 2023 F1 season, Norris has enjoyed a superb upturn in form of late, finishing on the podium in the last three races, placing him seventh in the drivers’ championship heading Sunday’s race in Austin. However, the wait for the elusive first F1 win continues.

A frustrating Qatar GP, which saw Norris losing a front-row start for the race because of track limits breaches, before going onto a third place finish. That came after he finished second in Singapore and Japan.

Norris‘ McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri would, however, win in Qatar, beating Max Verstappen in the Sprint Race, before finishing second in the main Grand Prix.

“No, because I don’t think we’ve given him a car capable of winning yet,” admitted Brown when asked whether Norris was frustrated waiting for his first F1 win. “We’re getting closer, definitely getting more competitive. 

“I think all racing drivers if they didn’t maximise a qualifying session or a race, so he was obviously frustrated in Qatar. He made some uncharacteristic track limit mistakes, which he was definitely not alone. 

“He was frustrated there, of course, but I think it’s momentary frustration. I think it’s no different than any driver on the grid that if they feel they left something on the table.

“They get a little annoyed with themselves, but they quickly recover, and he drove a brilliant race.”

Ed Spencer
Ed Spencer
FIA accredited journalist
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